Nov 9, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Justin Forsett (29) carries the ball to score a touchdown in the third quarter against the Tennessee Titans at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
The Ravens effectively bounced back from two horrid losses by taking care of business against a Tennessee Titans team at home in week ten. It may not have been as pretty as we had hoped, but in the end it’s just as they say – a win is most definitely a win. Who are we to ask for more?
It was a also a game that featured several new faces, particularly in the defensive backfield. So how did they perform? As we do each week, we like to highlight the players who are contributing to the team’s successes, and point out those that are actually hurting the team, in our weekly segment devoted to the Baltimore Ravens highest and lowest rated players based on grades from the stats gurus at Pro Football Focus.
Based on those stats, here are your Baltimore Ravens highest and lowest rated players week ten of the NFL season.
Highest Rated Offensive Players: Jeremy Zuttah (4.3), Marshal Yanda (3.2), Eugene Monroe (2.8), Owen Daniels (1.7), Torrey Smith (1.7).
Jeremy Zuttah had a rough start as the Titans defense started the game by getting pressure up the middle on Joe Flacco. It was shades of last week, when he had his worst game of the season against the Steelers. Thankfully, Zuttah rebounded and put in a solid performance, especially in run blocking where he had by far the highest grade on the team (5.5).
Marshal Yanda is on our list every week, so his presence is no surprise. Yanda graded out positively in both pass and run blocking as he continues his All-Pro caliber season. Monroe checked out of the game for a few snaps but appears to be OK. His play has really picked up since undergoing minor knee surgery a few weeks ago.
Owen Daniels may not be the fastest guy on the field, but he is an effective security blanket for Joe Flacco. He had his second best rating of the season against the Titans despite only catching two balls on four targets for 20 yards. Daniels’ best work this week was delivering several solid blocks in the run game.
Torrey Smith continues to look more and more like Torrey Smith each week, and received his second best grade of the season against the Titans. This week the younger Smith secured five of eight targets for 75 yards and a touchdown catch on a 32 yard reception. He did have a dropped pass, but the improvement is encouraging nonetheless.
Lowest Rated Offensive Players: Steve Smith (-2.9), Bernard Pierce (-2.6), Rick Wagner (-1.7), Joe Flacco (-0.6), Justin Forsett (-0.4).
The elder Smith has been trending downward for several weeks now after a hot start to the season. Is it age catching up, or simply the fact that opposing defenses are beginning to pay more attention to him? It’s a little of both, really. The bye week is coming at an excellent time. Smith caught an inefficient 3 of 7 targets and had a bad drop this week.
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Pierce looked OK on the field and had a couple of good runs, but ultimately averaged only 3.9 yards per carry in the end and left the game with yet another injury. The Ravens keep playing games with their running back rotation, but it seems like they should be giving the work to Lorenzo Taliaferro instead.
Wagner had his worst game of the season after a bunch of good ones, so we’ll give him a mulligan here. He gave up the Raven’s only sack on Joe Flacco along with a hurry, and also graded out negatively in run blocking.
Speaking of Flacco, it was another frustrating performance. Despite enjoying a clean pocket for much of the game, he still struggles with reading the blitz and his completion percentages have dropped dramatically the last few weeks. This week, Flacco had a completion percentage of only 42.9% when under pressure and a QB rating of 50.3.
Forsett had his worst game of the season by PFF’s ratings, but had a great day in the stat column. He took 20 carries for 112 yards (5.6 avg) and 2 touchdowns, but started off the game cold and racked up most of his yardage after halftime. It certainly wasn’t a bad day by any means.
Highest Rated Defensive Players: Haloti Ngata (3.5), Anthony Levine (2.7), Elvis Dumervil (1.5), Timmy Jernigan (1.4), Will Hill (1.3).
Haloti Ngata continues to quietly impress in what has been his best season in several years. This week he forced a fumble at the goal line that literally shifted the momentum of the entire game, adding 3 stops and a batted pass.
Levine made the Ravens look like geniuses after they surprisingly gave the career safety a start at corner. He wound up playing an extremely impressive game, giving up only one reception on three targets for 13 yards despite playing a good number of snaps.
Dumervil rebounded from a couple of off weeks by feasting on the Titan’s offensive line and extending his 2014 sack total to 10.5. He has been a dominating presence off the edge this season.
Jernigan recorded his first NFL sack and was solid in run support as well. He appears to be 100% after suffering a slight knee injury a few weeks ago, and he has a bright future on this defense.
Hill continued his solid play and was on the field for all but 3 defensive snaps this week. Now we are just waiting for him to truly break out and demonstrate the playmaking ability he has been known for throughout his NFL career.
Lowest Rated Defensive Players: Chris Canty (-3.6), Brandon Williams (-2.6), Lardarius Webb (-1.6), C.J. Mosley (-1.0), Lawrence Guy (-0.8).
Canty and Williams struggled in both run defense and pass rush this week while Haloti Ngata dominated. We can give Williams a pass for having one bad performance this season among a lot of good ones, but Canty has struggled in all but two games this thus far. He may not be 100% after his hand surgery either.
Webb is a shell of his former self this season and was the worst corner on the field Sunday. That’s saying a lot when you are playing next to a guy signed off the street and another making his first NFL start at the position. This week Webb gave up 4 receptions on 5 targets for 47 yards, and continues to be heavily targeted by opposing passers.
Mosley had his worst game of the season, and his woes came mainly in coverage. He was targeted a team high 6 times and gave up 6 receptions for 72 yards. He also added a mere four tackles despite routinely recording double digits in most games this season.
Guy recovered Ngata’s forced fumble, but otherwise continued his sub par play. Guy hasn’t received one single positive grade in any game this season, and his snaps have dropped considerably as a result.